The Priory HospitalPriory Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands, B5 7UG Directions
Mon - Fri: 6am - 9pm
Sat - Sun: 7am - 6pm
Due to COVID restrictions no visitors are currently allowed
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Cardiology & cardiac services
Book an appointment to see a heart consultant at The Priory Hospital today.
If you’re worried about your heart the last thing you need is a lengthy wait for an appointment to see an expert cardiologist. At The Priory Hospital we offer a full range of cardiac investigative tests and procedures (and can often provide you with same day results). If you’ve already been diagnosed with a heart condition our consultants can provide you with fast-track access to a wide variety of treatment options, including the latest heart surgery techniques.
Ablation is a term that describes some general procedures, and it involves modifying small parts of the heart muscle responsible for abnormal heart rhythms or palpitations. This is usually done by heating the area with radiofrequency electric current with a wire or catheter that’s put in direct contact with the heart muscle. Common ablation techniques are atrial fibrillation ablation, flutter ablation, supra-ventricular tachycardia ablation and ventricular tachycardia ablation.
Cryoablation is a newer technique that uses freezing rather than heat to solve rhythm problems – and can be a better treatment for some arrhythmias.
Atrial flutter is caused by a single short circuit often in the top right chamber of the heart and is treated by medication to reduce the risk of stroke – or again via ablation.
Heart murmurs are usually discovered by a stethoscope and they may indicate a problem with the heart valves. But they can also be benign. An echocardiogram is the best way to determine the cause of a murmur.
High blood pressure or hypertension is incredibly common in the UK. Individuals with high blood pressure are often not aware if it because in the early stages it does not make you feel unwell. Left untreated, however, high BP can lead to all kinds of serious problems including heart attacks, strokes and heart failure.
Coronary heart disease can first present as chest pain, light-headedness, nausea, shortness of breath or pain and discomfort in the arms or shoulders. Angina or narrowing of the coronary arteries is a common form of heart disease and this can also present as tightness or heaviness in the upper body as well as indigestion. Coronary heart disease may have no initial symptoms and it may be picked up by routine scans.
In many cases they’ll also offer you an electrocardiogram (ECG) or ultrasound scan of the heart. This takes just takes two minutes and helps to give your consultant a better overview of your heart health. If necessary you will then be booked in for further procedures or tests – all of which will take place at The Priory Hospital under your consultant’s individual guidance.
Diagnostic procedures you may be referred for at the The Priory Hospital include CT and MRI scans, exercise stress testing, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, an ambulatory ECG or an echocardiogram test (which takes around 30 minutes).
Cardiac catheterisation is another diagnostic procedure that’s used to assess the different components of the heart. It’s a relatively painless procedure performed under a local anaesthetic. Electrophysiology studies help to diagnose heart rhythm abnormalities and which areas of the heart are affected.
After the test results are in you will return for a second appointment and go through the test results with your consultant. If any surgical procedures are required this will happen as soon as possible, generally within two to three weeks.
If no surgical intervention is required you may be prescribed medications, for example aspirin and beta-blockers as well as newer drugs including novel anticoagulants. At The Priory Hospital our consultants can also review your current medications and advise you if any changes are required.
For example if you’re taking medications for high blood pressure but it’s still high other factors could be at play including kidney problems or problems with the adrenal glands or aorta. Blood and urine tests, a 24-hour urine analysis, CT or MRI scan of the heart and aorta as well as ambulatory monitoring of BP can give an accurate picture of what’s going on.
Where a heart condition is suspected a coronary angiogram can be carried out as day case procedure at The Priory Hospital. A focused CT coronary angiogram is minimally invasive and performed on patients where there is low suspicion of a serious problem.
Coronary angioplasty is a keyhole surgical treatment for blocked or narrowed heart arteries and is used to treat angina or a heart attack. Coronary bypass surgery is a major operation involving opening the chest – and this is only necessary where lots of narrowing is present.
Most procedures are now keyhole-type operations so most patients can go home the next day or even same day. Post operation your consultant will generally see you in around four to six weeks, however they are available at all times for telephone consultations.